Monthly Archives: June 2013

Blood sugar explained Keeping everything in balance

Balanced blood sugar
The main function of sugar – or glucose – in the blood is to supply the brain with energy.

Maintaining a balanced blood sugar level is fundamental to health.

Not only is balance essential for plentiful energy throughout the day, but blood sugar levels are linked to a whole host of illnesses, including:

• obesity
• diabetes
• inflammatory diseases – most cardiovascular disease is inflammatory

Paying attention to what and when you eat is a key factor in regulatingblood sugar.

Natural balancing act

Given the right fuel to work with, a healthy body is good at maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

Insulin removes excess sugar from the blood and stores it in the liver and muscles for use in an emergency.

If sugar levels fall too low for any reason, hormones (including glucagon, adrenalin and cortisol) tell the liver to put some of its stored glucose back in the blood.

But it’s only too easy to throw that balancing act out of kilter and find yourself on….

The energy rollercoaster

Eating the wrong foods can feed an unhealthy cycle of wild fluctuations in levels of blood sugar.

Blood sugar levels soar when you:

  • eat sugary and refined foods – processed cereals, biscuits, sugary drinks, white bread.
  • drink caffeine or get stressed, both of which trigger the release of glucose from the liver.

To get the levels back down, your body releases insulin as the ‘key’ to move glucose from the blood into its muscle and liver stores.

But if the rise in blood sugar has been rapid and dramatic, your body will tend to over-compensate by producing too much insulin, causing blood sugar levels to drop too far too fast.

This is when you feel sapped of energy; perhaps even nauseous, dizzy, irritable and lacking concentration.You need something urgently to pick you up – and reach for another cup of coffee or chocolate biscuit, shooting your blood sugar back into the excess level zone and again triggering the over-production of insulin.

Now you’re on the energy rollercoaster – and it’s not something you want to ride too often.

 

Here’s why you want to avoid the rollercoaster ride –

  • Heart disease

When cells are regularly exposed to this insulin rollercoaster, they can become resistant to insulin, meaning the pancreas needs to produce more and more to get the glucose out of the blood.

Insulin resistance is a component of metabolic syndrome (a group of specific medical conditions) that is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

  • Weight gain

Insulin also encourages your body to store fat so, if you want to lose weight, frequent insulin release throughout the day is definitely something to avoid.

  • Type 2 diabetes

In extreme cases, the pancreas can become so worn out by the rollercoaster that it stops producing insulin, or the cells stop letting it in: a condition known as type 2 diabetes.

  • Sex and aging

The rollercoaster also overworks the adrenal glands which, as well as releasing the hormones (adrenalin and cortisol) that tell the liver to put glucose back into the blood, are crucial to:

• the production of sex hormones and anti-aging hormones
• blood pressure regulation
• inflammation management

You really don’t want to wear out your adrenal glands!

Eat right, stay healthy

Eating the right foods regularly is the key to balancing blood sugar and avoiding the rollercoaster.

The nutrients you need are:

  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C

Give the rollercoaster a miss by:

  • eating more natural, unprocessed foods
  • choosing low GI or GL foods
  • reducing stress
  • avoiding stimulants like caffeine and nicotine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cholesterol explained

Why you need it – and where things go wrong

Understanding cholesterol

Cholesterol plays a key role in your body. It is:
• essential for building and maintaining cell membranes
• converted to bile which is needed for digestion
• involved in the manufacture of vitamin D
• a building block for many essential hormones

Acting as a ‘starter’ hormone, cholesterol enables the manufacture of steroid hormones, including:
• the sex hormones progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone – so low cholesterol levels can lead to a low sex drive
• the adrenal hormones – cortisol, which helps control blood sugar levels, and aldosterone, which helps control blood pressure.

Cholesterol is made in the liver and its production is usually cleverly based on the amount your body needs.

Cholesterol can also be taken in through food, but is only found in large amounts in animal products.

In the past, the advice was to avoid cholesterol-rich foods, such as eggs and prawns, but it is now recognised that for most people dietary cholesterol doesn’t actually impact cholesterol levels in the body.

If you eat too much of it, your body simply manufactures less and excretes the cholesterol it doesn’t need.

Cholesterol and heart disease

Cholesterol becomes a problem when the levels in the blood get too high.

This can indicate that there is some damage to the arteries and that cell-building cholesterol is helping to repair it. It is this ‘patching up’ process that causes ‘atheromas’, or plaques, in the arteries. When plaques become unstable they can burst and block the arteries, causing a heart attack.

High total cholesterol levels are a still deemed a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, although some research questions the importance of this reading. A more significant risk factor may be the types of cholesterol that make up your total levels.

There are also many other factors associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
■ diet ■ obesity ■ stress ■ lack of exercise ■ high blood pressure ■ smoking ■ diabetes ■metabolic syndrome ■ triglyceride levels ■ how easily your blood clots ■ homocysteine levels ■ high blood sugar levels ■ the level of inflammation in your body.

Different types of cholesterol

Total cholesterol levels comprise many more readings than you will normally be told about. These include:

  • HDL (High Density Lipoproteins)
generally seen as ‘protective’ cholesterol because it transports cholesterolfrom the arteries back to the liver where it can be processed for excretion
  • LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins)
generally viewed as ‘bad’ cholesterol because it takes cholesterol from the liver to the arteries where it can cling to the walls of the blood vessels.

New research indicates that HDL and LDL can also be further broken down into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fractions. Small, dense LDL particles are ‘bad’ because they are associated with more artery plaques than large size LDL particles.

It may therefore be the type of LDL you have which influences the risk of atherosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries.

Lipoprotein(a) – Lp(a) – levels are also important. These are proteins which can attach to LDLcholesterol, making it stick more easily on to the artery wall. They also inhibit the healing ‘clotting’ mechanism in the plaque. Some research suggests that elevated Lp(a) levels indicate a greater heart disease risk than high LDL levels alone.

Cholesterol that is attacked by free radicals is known as oxidised cholesterol. Oxidised LDLcholesterol is frequently found in arterial plaques, which is why antioxidants are so important for artery health.

Keeping cholesterol at the right level

Nutritional advice no longer recommends limiting cholesterol-containing foods such as eggs but some dietary changes may help reduce cholesterol levels. These include eating:

  • Low GI/GL foods

There is evidence to suggest that eating highly processed carbs and a high GI/GL diet has a negative effect on cholesterol and heart disease rates.

  • Foods with Omega 3 fatsMore Omega 3 fats

Substantial research on Omega 3 fat intake indicates reduced death from heart disease in people who have higher Omega 3 intakes.

  • Oily fish
  • Walnuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Less saturated fat

And more ‘healthy’ fats – put simply, the famous Mediterranean diet.

  • Olive oil
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fish
  • No trans fats

Trans fats negatively impact many heart disease markers, including cholesterol, Lp(a) and inflammation so minimise your intake of processed and deep fried foods.

  • More vitamin C-rich foods

Low vitamin C levels may be associated with high Lp(a) levels, so focus on boosting vitamin C intake.

  • Antioxidant-rich plant foods

It is oxidised cholesterol that is packed away in the artery walls and which in turn attracts more debris around the plaques, so keep your antioxidant level high as a preventative measure. This means plenty of phytonutrient-filled fruits, vegetables, whole grains and pulses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eat your way to perfect skin Skin food for a natural glow

We spend millions on face creams every year in our attempts to preserve youthful-

lookiSKIN long2ng skin and promote that elusive natural glow.

The truth is expensive preparations are a waste of money if your skin is suffering from poor nutrition.

Perfect skin comes from within. Fact.

change in diet can significantly improve many skin conditions and give you the healthy, natural glow you’re looking for.

About skin

Skin is the largest organ in the body.

• It helps with detoxification – oils and sweat move debris to the skin surface
• It acts as a barrier to germs, chemicals and the environment
• It regenerates quickly – minor wounds are barely visible within a week and the entire top layer of skin should renew itself every 5-7 weeks

Natural ways to glowing skin

Make a few nutritional changes in the early spring and they will pay dividends well before the summer is in full swing.

Skin-loving smoothie

Healthy smoothie with oranges, mano and almonds

1. Support collagen formation

Collagen is what gives skin its strength, elasticity and a healthy, plumped-up look. It is found in the layer beneath the epidermis.

Instead of buying expensive collagen creams that sit on the skin’s surface, try giving your body the inexpensive nutrients it needs to make new collagen.

Vitamin C, the amino acid cysteine and water help to form healthy collagen. So make sure you get lots of:

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Water

 

 

2. Protect your skin from damage

Free radicals, for example from UV rays or smoking, raise the risk of skin cancer, unsightly age spots, and wrinkles.

But what you eat can help to protect the skin from free radical damage. The nutrients zinc,selenium and vitamins A, C and E act as antioxidants in the body. So foods for healthy skin are:

  • Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables
  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Shellfish

Other phytonutrients can also act as antioxidants. So eat:

The carotenes in carrots also work in other ways to help give your skin a natural glow. Take a look at Food Focus on Carrots
  • Orange vegetables for the carotenes.

 

 

 

 

To boost phytonutrients, try these recipes:
– Sautéed spinach with shallots
– Carrot and sweet potato mash
– Carrot and coriander soup
– Chocolate-covered almonds

Sunbathing damages skin, leaving you more susceptible to premature ageing, wrinkles and skin cancer, so using sunscreen is a no-brainer.

Vitamin D from sunlight is important for healthBut you also need to make sure your skin gets a daily dose of sensible sunlight. Cells in the top layer of skin need about 15 minutes of sunlight a day to produce vitamin D essential for good health.

Diet alone cannot provide the amount of vitamin D the body requires

Vitamin D supports the immune system and potentially helps prevent cancer so it’s important.

Lots of people are deficient in vitamin D so always wearing make-up or moisturisers containing sunscreens is not necessarily a good idea, especially in winter.

3. Reduce inflammation

Inflammation in the body can aggravate skin conditions and contribute to itchy, red skin.

To lower the inflammation in your body:

• Eat vitamin C-rich foods which help to reduce histamine

Vitamin C works well with quercitin, found in apples and onions to reduce itchiness and redness. Find out more about the health benefits of onions in our Food Focusfeature.

• Eat good fats

Dry, rough skin is a good indicator that you’re low in essential fats. The Omega 3 fats found inoily fish support the anti-inflammatory pathways in the body, whereas saturated fats and thetrans fats found in processed foods promote inflammation.

So to help push the body back into its anti-inflammatory mode, cut down on meat and dairy foods and eat more:

Tuna carpaccio

Easy recipe for tuna carpaccio
  • Oily fish
  • Plant sources of Omega 3 fats such as walnuts, pumpkin seeds, chia, flax and hemp seeds.

Take a look at our Food Focus on Oily Fish to find out more about the wonderful health benefits of Omega 3 fats.

Fats showcase

Click for easy access to fat facts, features and recipes with good fats

• Skip the sugar

Sugar and high GI/GL foods, including alcohol, prevent good fats from being converted into the anti-inflammatory substances we need.

If you can’t stomach unsweetened tea, switch to a natural sweetener such as xylitol which doesn’t impact blood sugar.

• Avoid allergenic foods

Many inflammatory skin conditions are aggravated by chemical irritants or food allergens and intolerances.

Eggsmilk and peanuts are common food allergens, although people can react to almost any food. The only sure way to see if food allergy is preventing your skin from glowing is to get tested or follow a low-allergenic diet for a while.

4. Balance hormones

Hormone imbalances can contribute to skin breakouts during puberty as well as in adulthood, particularly for women around menstruation. Excess testosterone increases sebum production, and too much sebum can cause spots.

• Eat foods containing zinc and vitamin A

Both antioxidants, zinc and vitamin A work together to reduce the production of sebum, which is a key factor in acne. Eat:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Oats
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Yellow, orange and green leaf vegetables

Try making our granola and butternut squash soup to boost your zinc and vitamin A.

• Keep your blood sugar balanced
So skip the sugar and follow a low GI/GL way of eating.Excess insulin can imbalance hormones and lead to increased testosterone, more sebum production and spotty skin as a result.

• Tune up your body’s detox systems

 

The skin is part of the body’s detoxification system and often reflects what is happening in the digestive system and liver.

Itching, rashes and skin conditions can indicate that the body is not detoxifying properly.

To support your body in getting rid of used hormones properly:
– Drink enough water so toxins leave via urine or stools instead of making their way out through the skin
– Bump up your fibre intake to support gut health. Find lots of high fibre recipes here.
– Consider doing a short detox if you feel your digestion and liver need some TLC.

5. Beware chemicals in skincare products

Don’t overlook what you’re putting on your skin. Even expensive skin products can contain a cocktail of irritant and potentially carcinogenic chemicals. Opt for natural brands if you can,free of parabens, petroleum and synthetic colours and fragrance.

 

Foods for healthy skin

  • All fruits and vegetables
especially apricots, avocados, butternut squash, carrots, kale, kiwi, mango, peppers, pumpkins, spinach, strawberries, sweet potato, watercress
  • Oily fish and shellfish
  • Oats
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
including almonds, brazils, hazelnuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds
  • Water

  

 
Foods your skin won’t like
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Foods high in saturated fat, including meat and dairy products

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy gut, happy you All about digestion: how to keep everything working properly

If there’s something up with your digestion you soon know about it…

How to keep your digestive system in proper working order

Burping, belching, flatulence, constipation and bloating are all evidence of a less-than-happy gut.

Sometimes the digestive problems are more severe and a medical diagnosis might reveal a condition like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or coeliac disease.

But an unhealthy gut can have much wider-reaching consequences. Its condition plays a key role in your health, influencing things from energy levels to the risk of developing cancer.

The state of your gut can contribute to:

  • the severity of atopic eczema, food allergiesand rheumatoid arthritis
  • hormonal balancecholesterol levels and the frequency of infections
  • the risk of developing diseases including cancer

More than 70% of your immune system is located in your digestive tract so if your digestion is suffering, your immune system is probably struggling as well.

And the condition of your gut can impact your moods too. The feel-good hormone serotonin – often reduced in depression – is produced in the digestive tract as well as the nervous system.

Keeping your gut as healthy as possible makes a lot of sense!

What does ‘gut’ mean?

The digestive tract including the stomach, small intestine and large intestine, or colon.

Food is normally:
– in the stomach for 1 to 3 hours
– in the small intestine for 3 to 8 hours
– in the colon for 14 hours plus

Ideally, the total transit time should be less than 48 hours.

 

Remember

If you have any digestive disturbances, particularly if there is a change in bowel habit, black stools or blood in your stools, it’s important that you talk to your GP.

How your body processes food

• Brain

Digestion begins with the brain. It tells your body to prepare for that tasty meal by producingsaliva, which contains enzymes to help to break down the food.

So looking forward to your meal, smelling it and seeing it presented attractively, is actually a vital part of digestion.

• Mouth

Chewing breaks down the food more. When you swallow, food passes down through your oesophagus into your stomach.

• Stomach

The stomach is a little bag which expands when food come in. It churns the food with enzymes and stomach acid to break everything down – especially the proteins – into a liquid-like substance.

What can go wrong?
Your body needs zinc and vitamin B6 to produce stomach acid. When levels of stomach acid are too low it can cause burping, indigestion and harmful bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.

Improperly digested food and unwanted intruders, which are normally stopped by the high acid levels, can pass into the intestine.

• Small intestine

All about digestion: how to keep everything working properly

From the stomach, food moves into the small intestine where it is further broken down for absorption into the body. The liver, which releases bile via the gall bladder, and the pancreas are key players in this process.

What can go wrong?
The small intestine is a coiled tube around 7 metres long and lined with ‘fingers’ called villi which release enzymes and help the body absorb nutrients. Absorption is impaired if the villi are damaged, as they are in coeliac disease by the protein found in gluten.

If we don’t produce enough digestive enzymes, or if the gut wall is damaged and ‘leaky’, larger protein fragments can cross the intestinal barrier, leading to problems including food allergies and eczema.

Steroids, aspirin, ibuprofen, caffeine and alcohol can all contribute to poor performance in the small intestine.

• Large intestine

Anything not digested in the small intestine moves into the large intestine or colon.

This is where most of our gut flora set up home. The gut contains more than 400 different types of bacteria – around 100 trillion of them, weighing about 4lbs.

The good bugs in the colon make vitamin K and some B vitamins and waste matter is compacted into faeces.

Top tips for a healthy gut

1. Take a pew to chew

If you’re eating on the move – while walking for instance – your body isn’t fully focused on dealing with the food. Make time to sit down and look forward to your meal so your saliva and digestive enzymes know they need to start work.

Next, you need to chew – properly. A couple of quick bites and a gulp isn’t enough. Try chewing 30 times before swallowing so your stomach has an easier job to do.

2. Chill out

Your body is programmed to figure that if it’s under stress it won’t be required to digest food at the same time.

To your body, stress means ‘fight or flight’ so it concentrates all its resources on being able to do one of those – and that means it isn’t producing the enzymes needed for digestion.

In addition, stress reduces secretory IgA (sIgA) which is found in large quantities in the gut and acts as part of our immune system as first line of defence against nasty bugs.When functioning properly, sIgA ‘tags’ foods to let us know they are OK and we don’t need to mount an allergic response to them. It also prevents nasties from sticking to the gut wall.

3. Boost fibre

Fibre feeds the good gut bugs and also helps get the waste out of your body more quickly. That’s important because if you have a long transit time between eating and eliminating the food waste, toxins, hormones – such as cholesterol – and other nasties can be re-absorbed.

All about digestion: how to keep everything working properly

So eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, legumes and wholegrains, including brown rice, oats and barley. Don’t overdo wheat-based fibre though because it can irritate sensitive guts, plus the phytates in it reduce the absorption of minerals.

Be aware that constipation doesn’t always mean hard stools. You might have a bowel movement every day but it may be waste matter from several days ago rather than the previous or same day.

Slow digestion of food can lead to:
– excessive fermentation – bloating and gas
– encouragement of the ‘wrong’ gut bugs
– at its worst, cancerous cell changes

A good way to see how quickly your body digests food is to eat some sweet corn or beetroot. Corn will re-emerge mostly intact in your stools and beetroot will turn them purple.

With fibre, you need water to keep the stools soft and to help them pass through the colon so aim for about 1.5 litres a day. It’s one of the simplest ways to tackle constipation.

4. Drink water!

5. Eat less meat

There are now clear studies linking a higher red and processed meat intake to bowel cancer. So keep meat to a minimum in your diet and up the fish and vegetarian options instead.

6. Skip the sugar

Sugar feeds bad bugs and also encourages the growth of yeast known as Candida albicans, which can contribute to a ‘leaky’ gut as well as myriad symptoms extending beyond the gut. Thrush is caused by Candida albicans.

7. Boost the probiotics

Good bugs in the gut are known as probiotics and research suggests they are vital to health.

The most well known and prolific good bugs are known as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, which set up home in our colon. There are hundreds of other strains however, many of which are added to the ever-increasing probiotic food and drinks on the market. Some strains are only temporary visitors so they do their work and then leave.

Probiotics help prevent disease by:
– Colonising the gut wall, making it harder for nasty bugs to find a place to take up residence.
– Producing compounds to attack unwanted intruders.
– Boosting production of SIgA and other immune supportive cells.
– Producing lactic acid that alters the acidity of the colon so that nasties are less likely to survive.

The bugs live by feeding off fibre in the colon and they also help to produce substances that fuel, nourish and repair the colon.

And as if all that isn’t enough, these good microbes also produce vitamin K and B vitamins in the colon. If you’re not eating enough of these nutrients, the good bugs can help make up the shortfall.

As well as supporting general health, if you have a tummy bug or travellers’ diarrhoea, a probiotic supplement can overwhelm the bad bugs and halve your recovery time. Take some with you as a supplement next time you travel abroad.

8. Act after antibiotics

All about digestion: how to keep everything working properly

Antibiotics wipe out the good bugs along with the bad that they’re targeting.

Antibiotic use is the most common cause of alterations in gut flora, leading to the wrong bugs and fungi taking hold in your gut afterwards. So load up on probiotic foods such as live yogurt or take a supplement after your course of antibiotics to help repair the damage.

9. Boost the probiotics

Probiotics are non-digestible, fibrous foods that help probiotics grow and flourish in the colon. They have been the subject of much research and play a really important role in gut health.

What to eat for a healthy gut

• Foods rich in B6 and zinc for stomach acid production.

FindB6in:
  • Wholegrains
  • Beans
    
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
   
   
Findzincin:
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Eggs
  • Lean meat

• Prebiotics

  • Asparagus
  • Leek
  • Garlic
  • Artichoke
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Banana
  • Chicory root

• Probiotics

  • Natural, live yogurt (keffir if you can find it)
  • Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, miso and tempeh (tofu).

• Emmental cheese encourages growth of the good bugs.

• Fibre – build up slowly and avoid wheat if your gut is irritated:

  • Wholegrains
  • Legumes
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Fruit
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Vegetables

• Ground linseeds (flax), soaked in water for constipation, or psyillium husk

• Pineapple and papaya for their beneficial enzymes

• Herbs and spices – avoid chilli if your gut is irritated – including:

  • Aniseed
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Fenugreek

• Liver-supportive foods such as:

  • Apples
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Leek
  • Lemon
  • Pears
  • Rocket
  • Spices

• Essential Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats (EPADHA and GLA) that support healing and reduced inflammation in the gut. They are found in:

  • Oily fish
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

• DRINK WATER!

• Keep to a minimum:

  • Excessively fatty foods
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Carbonated drinks

 

Sensitive gut?

If you have a sensitive gut and the GP can’t find anything wrong, you could try this for a short period:

  • Eat soothing foods such as gently cooked (instead of raw) fruit and vegetables, rice, plain fish, plain meat.
  • Avoid wheat, yeast, dairy, sugar, tomatoes, peppers, onions, caffeine, alcohol.

Some people find that eating like this for a while can calm the gut down.

 

Did you know?

  • Our guts are sterile when we’re born. Breast-fed babies and babies born vaginally have different bacteria in their guts from those who are bottle fed and arrive in the world by Caesarean section. It’s only when babies start to eat solid food that their gut bacteria begins to resemble that of an adult.
  • More than 70% of people stop producing the enzyme lactase after the age of 4. Lactase digests the lactose in dairy products so this explains why so many people experience digestive symptoms after drinking large quantities of milk. Fermented products, such as yogurt, keffir and probiotics, regularly consumed may improve digestion of lactose.

75 EXTRAORDINARY USES OF BAKING SODA! [Sodium Bicarbonate]

75 EXTRAORDINARY USES OF BAKING SODA! [Sodium Bicarbonate] . Baking soda is a chemical compound that appears as a fine powder. It releases bubbles of carbon dioxide when it interacts with an acid and a liquid. It’s most commonly used in baking, where it acts as a leavening agent. The following are 75 other uses for baking soda aside from making muffins soft and fluffy.

1

Health Uses

1. Use it as an antacid.

2. Use it as underarm deodorant by applying it with a powder puff.

3. Mix half a teaspoon with peroxide paste and use it as toothpaste.

4. Use it as a face and body scrub.

5. Add a cup to bathwater to soften your skin.

6. Relieve skin itch from insect bites and pain from sunburn.

7. Remove strong odors from your hands by rubbing them with baking soda and water.

8. Put two tablespoons in your baby’s bathwater to help relieve diaper rash.

9. Apply it on rashes, insect bites, and poison ivy irritations.

10. Take a baking soda bath to relieve skin irritations.

11. Heartburn? Take a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with one-half glass of water.

12. Freshen your mouth by gargling half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed water.

13. Relieve canker sore pain by using it as mouthwash.

14. Use it to relieve bee stings.

15. Use it to relieve windburns.

16. Apply it on jellyfish sting to draw out the venom.

17. Unblock stuffy nose by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to your vaporizer.

In the Home

18. Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon to the water in the vase.

19. Put out small fires on rugs, upholstery, clothing, and wood.

20. Put an open container of baking soda in the fridge to absorb the odors.

21. Sprinkle it on your ashtrays to reduce bad odor and prevent smoldering.

22. Sprinkle it on your slippers, boots, shoes, and socks to eliminate foul odor.

23. Turn baking soda into modeling clay by combining it with one and 1/4 cups of water and one cup of cornstarch.

24. After feeding your baby, wipe his shirt with a moist cloth sprinkled with baking soda to remove the odor.

25. Wipe your windshield with it to repel rain.

26. Improve the smell of dishrags by soaking them in baking soda and water.

27. Suck it in with your vacuum cleaner to remove the odor.

28. Freshen the air by mixing baking soda with your favorite perfumed bath salts. Put the mixture in small sachet bags.

29. Restore stiff brushes by boiling them in a solution of 1/2 gallon of water, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and a cup of baking soda.

30. Put it under sinks and along basement windows to repel cockroaches and ants.

31. Scatter baking soda around flowerbeds to prevent rabbits from eating your veggies.

32. Sweeten your tomatoes by sprinkling baking soda on the soil around your tomato plants.

33. Sprinkle it onto your cat’s litter box to absorb the bad odor.

34. Sprinkle it on your pet’s comb or brush to deodorize their fur and skin.

In Cooking

35. Use it as a substitute for baking powder by mixing with it with cream of tartar or vinegar.

36. Wash fruits and vegetables with it.

37. When boiling a chicken, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water. Feathers will come off easier, and the flesh will be clean and white.

38. Soak dried beans to a baking soda solution to make them more digestible.

39. Remove the distinctive taste of wild game by soaking it in a baking soda solution.

40. Make a sports drink by mixing it with boiled water, salt, and Kool-Aid.

41. Remove the fishy smell from your fillets by soaking the raw fish in a baking soda solution for an hour inside the fridge.

42. Make fluffier omelets by adding half a teaspoon of baking soda for every three eggs used.

43. Reduce the acid content of your tomato-based recipes by sprinkling them with a pinch of baking soda.

Cleaning Purposes

44. Add a cup to the toilet, leave it for an hour, and then flush. It will clean the toilet and absorb the odor.

45. Use it to scrub sinks, showers, plastic and porcelain tubs

46. Spray it on walls, mirrors, and countertops.

47. Add a spoonful to your dishwasher to make scrubbing dishes easier.

48. Remove grease from pots and pans.

49. Dry clean carpets and upholstered furniture by sprinkling baking soda over the fabric and gently brushing it. Leave it for an hour or overnight, then vacuum.

50. Boost your laundry detergent’s cleaning power by sprinkling a handful on dirty clothes.

51. Combine it with water to make a paste for polishing stainless steel and chrome.

52. Remove scratches and crayon marks from vinyl floors and walls.

53. Clean your shoes with it.

54. Clean garbage cans with it.

55. Use it to wash diapers.

56. Clean the fridge with it.

57. Soak brushes and combs in a baking soda solution.

58. Mix it with water to wash food and drink containers.

59. Put three tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of warm water, then use the mixture to wash marble-topped furniture.

60. Absorb it with a damp sponge, then clean Formica countertops with the sponge.

61. Use it to get rid of stale odors from cooling containers and thermos bottles.

62. Run your coffee maker with a baking soda solution, then rinse.

63. Combine with hot water to clean baby bottles.

64. Sprinkle it on barbecue grills, then rinse it off.

65. Scatter it on your greasy garage floor, scrub the floor, and rinse.

66. Remove burned-on food from a pan by soaking it in a baking soda solution for 10 minutes before washing.

67. Clean your ashtrays with a baking soda solution.

68. Keep your drains clean by putting four tablespoons of baking soda in them each week. Flush it down with hot water.

69. Clean your shower curtains by soaking them in baking soda and water.

70. Put it on a small brush to rub canvas handbags clean.

71. Use it to remove melted plastic bread wrapper from a toaster. Sprinkle baking soda on a damp rug, then use the rug to clean the toaster.

72. Use it to clean your retainers and dentures.

73. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water, and used it to scrub enameled cast iron and stainless steel.

74. Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water, and use it to clean the inside part of an oven.

75. Use it to unclog gas stoves.

The most amazing thing about baking soda is that it’s very cheap. You can do all these things for a very small cost. Baking soda is truly a miracle product, whether it’s used for baking or not.

WHICH ARE YOUR FAVORITES?____________________ DO YOU HAVE A USE OF BAKING SODA NOT LISTED, COMMENT! ___________________________

Newsletter June

The world belongs to those with the most energy. 

 -Alexis de Tocqueville

Snack Attack

There’s no denying that everyone, at one time or another, has had a snack attack. Views on snacking differ. Some feel that snacking is bad and that eating between meals leads to weight gain. Others believe that eating many small meals and snacks throughout the day is healthy for maintaining energy levels and optimal weight. If there were one way of snacking that was right for everyone, we would all be doing it!

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To alleviate snack attack guilt, try to understand why you are snacking and what snacks work best for your body. Perhaps you snack because your daily diet is missing nutrition, or because you are eating too little at meals. You might be snacking to soothe jangled nerves when you are emotional, or to entertain yourself when you are bored. Whatever your reason, acknowledge it and start thinking about how to create a life that is nourishing and truly satisfying.

 

Although snacks are no substitute for loving your life, they can be great energy boosters. Many convenient snack foods are highly processed and full of chemicals, additives, damaging fats and refined sugars. When a snack attack hits you, try foods that are filling and satisfying, but also nutritious. Here are some tips:

  • Snack on things that don’t come in a plastic wrapper or a box, like fresh fruit, leftover vegetables or rice cakes with almond butter and fruit spread.
  • Make your own signature trail mix, organic hot chocolate made with almond milk sweetened with agave nectar, or blue corn chips with hummus.

You can also try “upgrading”:

  • If you are craving something crunchy, upgrade from potato chips to raw carrots, apples or whole grain crackers.
  • If you are craving a candy bar, upgrade to a handful of nuts and dried fruit.
  • Instead of a cup of coffee, upgrade to green tea.

Instead of ice cream, upgrade to applesauce with cinnamon.

Upgraded snacks are high in nutrition and give you a greater sense of satiety and satisfaction; you won’t feel physically or psychologically deprived, and you’ll have plenty of energy to sustain your activities for hours.

 

Snacking is enjoyable and there is a wide variety of healthful goodies for whatever you’re craving, be it sweet, crunchy, salty, creamy or spicy. Dive in, be creative and enjoy your snack attack.

 

Food Focus: Fruit                                                                                                 

A healthy lifestyle is the key to longevity, optimum weight, abundant energy and balance. By using fruit to satisfy our taste for sweetness, we can leave behind the use of chemical, processed and refined sweeteners. Fruits are easy to digest, are cleansing and cooling and are great for those who are overstressed and overheated from excessive mental strain or hot climates. Fruits are filled with fiber and liver stimulants, which act as natural, gentle laxatives. Whenever possible, buy fresh, locally grown fruit as opposed to imported fruits shipped from far-off places. This keeps you eating in season, and more in harmony with your environment and climate.

 

Eating raw fruit in summer months is highly cooling, while baking it in the winter months neutralizes the cooling effect. Fruit in the form of juice is a great choice for cleansing the body, but be aware that juice rapidly raises blood sugar levels, leading to an energy crash soon after. Frozen, whole, puréed or juiced fruit can make great summertime cool-down treats. Try frozen grapes, banana-coconut smoothie popsicles or lime juice ice-cubes in iced tea!

 

Whether you are having fresh fruit for a light early morning breakfast, a midday snack or evening treat, enjoy nature’s sweetness and whenever possible buy organic. Here are a few summer fruits and their health benefits:

 

Apricots: Great for lung conditions and asthma; used to help treat anemia due to their high copper and cobalt content.

Bananas: Help to lubricate the intestines, treat ulcers, detoxify the body and manage sugar cravings; are rich in potassium (which helps hypertension).

Cherries: Slightly warming in nature; increase overall body energy, remedy arthritis and rheumatism and are rich in iron, which improves the blood.

Grapefruits: Treat poor digestion, increase appetite during pregnancy, alleviate intestinal gas and reduce mucus conditions of the lungs.

Papayas: Tone the stomach, act as digestive aid, moisten the lungs and alleviate coughing; contain carpaine, an anti-tumor compound.

Raspberries: Benefit the liver and kidneys, cleanse blood of toxins, regulate menstrual cycles, treat anemia and can promote labor at childbirth.

 

Recipe of the Month: Fruit Nut Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

 

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                      b

1 banana

1 cup soy or rice milk

1 cup berries

1 cup diced melon

1/2 cup almonds

2-4 ice cubes

 

Directions:

1.   Mix in blender for 1-2 minutes and serve.

Note: You can add other ingredients for added nutrition such as a spoonful of bee pollen, coconut oil, flax seed oil, spirulina powder or a scoop of protein powder.

 

Forward to a Friend

It’s such a pleasure to help those closest to us become happier and healthier. Please forward this newsletter to friends, family members or colleagues who might be interested and inspired by it.

 

 

 

 

72 Uses For Simple Household Products To Save Money & Avoid Toxins

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Limiting the amount of products you bring into your home will not only cut down on costs at the grocery store but will keep you and your family healthier. Below is a list of some common uses for seven household products. Add some drops of essentials oils like lavender, rose, or sweet orange to any of them for extra pleasure!

Here are a few more tips to help you go green and save money!

  • Cut up old bath towels. Reuse these as rags for cleaning your house rather than paper towels, which are expensive and contribute to 3,000 pounds of waste in landfills each day.
  • When you grocery shop, leave your list at home. Instead, fill your basket with local, seasonal, and organic items that are on sale that week. Once you have your fruits and veggies, you can start to plan what other items you might need for the week.
  • Stock up on staples when they are on sale. Some ideas: look for jars of organic pasta sauce, condiments, and, frozen organic veggies or fruit.
  • Purchase things in bulk like quinoa, granola, beans, nuts, seeds, and dried herbs.
  • Cook up large pots of grains and beans then divvy them up smaller portions to freeze for later meals.. Staples that work well: quinoa, brown rice, black beans, and kidney beans.
  • Prep veggies on Sundays. You can wash, chop, blanch or steam them.
  • Invest in a high quality blender. This will allow you to make your own nut butters, almond milk, oat flour, soups, dips, and smoothies.  Choose one with at least a 5 year warranty.
  • Limit the amount of beauty products you use daily. Keep your routine simple!

Nine Food Cures You Can Grow at Home

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Aloe Vera
Grow it: Plant in pots placed in full sunshine. Water well.

Use it: Break open the thick leaves and apply the gel that seeps out to your skin to soothe sunburn. “It’s 96 percent water and 4 percent active ingredients, including amino acids and enzymes that nourish damaged skin,” says pharmacist Margo Marrone, founder of The Organic Pharmacy in the United Kingdom.

Basil
Grow it: This sweet, fragrant annual is ideal for growing in pots. Pull off the white flowers as soon as they appear to keep it from going to seed and your herbs from tasting bitter.

Use it: Rub crushed leaves on your temples to relieve headaches. Pour boiling water over basil leaves for a pain-relieving foot bath.

Lavender
Grow it: This sun-loving plant needs good drainage. Use a small pot filled with gravel and a light soil.

Use it: It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Crush a handful of the heads and add to a bowl of boiling water to use as a steam bath for your face. You can also dab the oil from the flowers on blemishes, says Marrone.

Lemon Balm
Grow it: Pot it, or it will colonize your garden.

Use it: Use for healing and preventing cold sores. Also, rub leaves directly onto skin as a natural insect repellent or to soothe bites.

Mint
Grow it: Use a sunken pot, because it grows vigorously.

Use it: Ideal for treating the collywobbles, which you might know as butterflies in the stomach. Sip tea made with fresh peppermint leaves to soothe stomach cramps, nausea, and flatulence. For a natural decongestant, place a fistful of mint leaves in a shallow bowl and cover with boiling water. Lean over it, drape a towel over your head, and breathe the steam.

Parsley
Grow it: Thrives in a pot in the sun as long as the soil is kept moist. Feed with organic fertilizer.

Use it: Immune-system booster. Eat one tablespoon of chopped flatleaf or curly parsley daily. Chewing parsley neutralizes mouth odors.

Rosemary
Grow it: This hardy perennial loves basking in sunshine.

Use it: Tea made from a thumb-sized piece has been known to lift spirits in people suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and hangovers. Infuse warm red wine with rosemary, cinnamon, and cloves to soothe winter colds.

Sage
Grow it: Needs full sun and a dry sandy soil. Sage means “to be in good health.”

Use it: Gargle with a broth made from a quarter-cup of leaves (and cooled) to relieve sore throat.

Thyme
Grow it: Plant in dry, light soil. Needs sun.

Use it: A powerful antioxidant as well as an antiseptic. Drink a tea made from lemon thyme to treat colds before bed. Warning: don’t use thyme when pregnant.

Weight loss smoothie

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A power packed smoothie to aid you with weight loss.
It is a cross between a juice and a smoothie, so you get many of the healing benefits.
Try to make this 2 to 4 times a week for breakfast or lunch. Combine with  a plant derived diet and exercise.
It is also a body healer:
✒ The greens are power-packed with Antioxidants that help heal your body.
✒ Weight loss aid: You will feel full fast
✒ Aids against constipation as it is high in fiber content
✒ Relieves flatulence and bloating
✒ Help  flush fat
Cucumber and avocado smoothie:
Blend:
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup spinach loosely packed
1/2 cup parsley loosely packed
1/3 cup of fresh mint loosely packed
1 green apple cored and peeled
3 ribs celery
1 cucumber
1 avocado
Enjoy!

Body cleanse juice

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A body cleanse to get you re-energized you and keep you healthy.
This cleanse will aid in flushing away toxins.
Celery has cleansing properties that regulate body fluid by acting as a diuretic.

Acidic foods such as lemons are acidic in their basic state, BUT once metabolized by the body they have an alkalizing effect.
The lemon will cleanse and detoxify the liver.

Try it and drink immediately to get the full benefits.

Juice:

  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 2  celery stalks
  • 2 oranges
  • 1/3 cup cranberries

Drink once day for one week
Note: Use organic ingredients
As always: Consult your health practitioner before changing or including anything new to your diet.
People who take the blood-thinning medication warfarin should avoid cranberry products because they can interact with warfarin and cause excess bleeding.